After a closed-door meeting that lasted for more than seven hours in Enugu, governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sunday night failed to arrive at a consensus on the party’s chairmanship position, preparatory to the December 9 convention of the party.
Though the meeting which started at 5.30 p.m. and stretched till midnight had planned to possibly reduce the number of aspirants from eight to possibly two or three, it failed to achieve the objective.
In the place of a consensus, the meeting presided over by the chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum and Ekiti State governor Ayo Fayose extracted a commitment from the aspirants to support whoever finally emerges as the party’s chairman at the convention.
Addressing newsmen at the end of the meeting, which also had in attendance notable party leaders and seven out of the eight chairmanship aspirants, Fayose said the atmosphere and team spirit that manifested in the meeting demonstrated the party’s resolve to take over power by 2019.
“Our aspirants, PDP chairmanship aspirants, have agreed to work together, so that whosoever emerges as the chairman of the party will be supported by all of us.
“We met at the Enugu Government House to deliberate on our national convention and we took time off to meet with the chairmanship aspirants, believing that we want to have a convention that all parties in Nigeria will emulate; a convention that will represent the word democracy and serve as a template for other parties.
“We have responsible people vying for the office of chairman of the PDP nationally and we are on one page and the page is the PDP first and PDP first.
“And we are leaving Enugu today believing that the PDP will take over power by 2019,” he said.
Fayose further disclosed that the governors were looking forward to the party’s victory in the November 18 gubernatorial election in Anambra State, noting that the party expected nothing less than a credible, free and fair election.
“We have equally agreed, believing we have all that it takes to take over Anambra and I believe that our people in Anambra, the Anambrarians have worked very hard, so they deserve victory.
“We are using this opportunity to ask that the election must be credible, not only credible but seen to be credible. I want to believe that Nigeria is of age to conduct elections that will be acceptable at home and abroad, and we want to believe that we will take the day on the 18th of this month in the Anambra governorship election,” he said.
The governors had segmented the meeting, beginning with party leaders, the aspirants, and finally with the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Ahmed Makarfi and National Secretary, Chief Ben Obi.
Present at the meeting were Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ben Ayade (Cross River) and Henry Sariake Dickson (Bayelsa).
Others included Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Ayo Fayose (Ekiti), Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo (Gombe), Darius Ishaku, (Taraba), the host, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the deputy governor of Ebonyi State, Eric Kelechi Igwe.
The party’s chairmanship aspirants at the meeting were former Minister of Special Duties, Taoheed Adedoja, former Minister of Education, Tunde Adeniran, former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Bode George and a former acting National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus.
Others included former governor of Ogun State, Chief Gbenga Daniel, a former PDP governorship candidate in Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje and Chief Raymond Dokpesi.
Party leaders present at the meeting were the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekeweremadu, Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, former Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, former Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam, former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi, Ambassador Kema Chikwe, and former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara